Electrical wires wrapped around a room full of students flooded by fluorescent blue lights. On the set, cameras rolled, while a huge TV screen played the final results of a live news production. Just behind the set, a door, slightly propped open by more wires, lead to the preview of where the real magic was happening.
Behind the scenes, the control room was dimly lit by a number of space-like computer screens. Amidst the beautifully orchestrated chaos of the small room stood Glenn Davison, the television engineering technician for the broadcast and media operations department.
To a handful of students and staff at Montclair State University, Davidson is a familiar and very friendly face to see. When things technically don’t seem to be working, such as the internet or almost anything pertaining to technology on campus, Davidson is considered a true savior.
“At the beginning of the semester, I was having serious issues with a video editing program, Avid, and Glenn was my saving grace,” said Steve Gauthier, a senior television and digital media production major. “Without his help I probably would’ve failed my first project and every single one after that.”
Within minutes of an email, or call, Davidson will happily appear and have the problem fixed in what seems to be seconds. He said he truly does love his job and genuinely enjoys helping others, especially students.
“Whenever I need help or have technical difficulties with a piece of equipment, Glenn is always there to help with a humorous and positive attitude,” said Allison Council, a senior television and digital media major, as she laughed.
Students in the School of Communication and Media agree concerning how challenging, stressful and intimidating it is to use certain equipment.
“My favorite aspect of this job is when I’m able to show a student who’s struggling with something how to get it and to see them excel, to get better at it, and then see them have more confidence in themselves,” said Davidson. “I can see it in their faces, and it’s just a really good feeling to know that I played some sort of part in that.”
Technology is changing every single day, and while most students and faculty can agree how frustrating it can be, they say they’re happy that there’s someone keeping up with it.
“The man seems to know exactly what’s wrong before you even finish explaining the problem. He’s like the momma bear of the control room,” said Victor Tsyplenkov, a senior in digital broadcast and media.
Davidson is also certified in Avid, a software used to edit video footage. He encourages students to ask for help in learning any equipment or software.
“It’s never a bad thing to ask for help. There’s nothing wrong with asking for help and it doesn’t make you worse than the student next you if you’re asking for help,” said Davidson, with a pleasant smile on his face. “The whole point of college is to come here and learn stuff.”